The EERE Strategic Program Review found that EERE would benefit from more systematic and rigorous application of peer review for all of its programs and major management functions (DOE, 2003b, p. vi). Recently, a wide variety of other authorities have argued that peer review practices at federal agencies need to be strengthened (OMB, 2004). In response to congressional inquiry, the U.S. General Accounting Office documented the variability in both the definition and implementation of peer review across agencies (GAO, 1999). In response to these findings, the EERE developed a peer review guide to help programs and offices establish formal peer review processes that result in intellectually fair and disinterested expert evaluation.
In response to the call for strengthened peer review within the EERE, the leadership of the ITP asked the National Research Council’s Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design to assess the overall technical quality and effectiveness of the program. The board was asked to assess the new decision-making process used by the ITP to determine research directions as well as the application of this process to individual subprograms and the program as a whole. The Committee for Review of the